This documentary by award-winning film directors Rob Stewart and Jonah Bryson examines this community’s determination to stand together and fight against a development they say will irreparably ruin the natural landscape, destroy the tourism industry forever and wreck livelihoods – without providing any benefit to the community.
In an environmental battle that has implications for other small communities in Canada and around the world, there can only be one winner in The Fight for Bala – and one loser.
About the issue
The picturesque town of Bala, Ontario is under threat as a private developer intends to destroy the environmentally significant Bala Falls – the iconic tourist attraction located in the heart of their community, and a essential link from area lakes to the ocean.
For the past 10 years, the town has been fighting the construction of this power plant. The problem is they are a small community of less than 600 permanent residents and their concerns are not being recognized by the government.
This small tourist town has been battling the proposed power plant that will destroy natural fish habitats, obliterate heritage lands and wipe out the local businesses dependent upon visitors to the falls. Despite overwhelming public resistance and without the mandatory consultation with First Nations people whose water levels and flows will be affected, the developer keeps moving forward.
All the water going through the Bala Falls, the link between all the lakes in the Muskoka and Algonquin watersheds to the rest of the world and eventually the ocean, could be reduced to a trickle for a for-profit, oversized, unnecessary and destructive power station - funded by taxpayers through a $100 million dollar off-market subsidy - forced upon an unwilling host.
We need your help to amplify their voice to raise global awareness and navigate the legal challenge that will defend this land and the community. It is not a done deal, but we urgently need your help before this cherished environment and fragile economy are forever compromised. Public lands should remain for public use – not solely for the benefit of a private developer. This place matters.